Chili con queso has fallen on hard times; often it’s just Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies mixed with Velveeta, microwaved, and stirred.
We wanted to keep the simplicity but ditch the plastic flavour and waxy texture. We started with a base of chicken broth, cream cheese, and cornstarch to help stabilize the cheese and prevent it from breaking.
For the cheeses, we chose Monterey Jack for its great flavour and American cheese for its superior meltability. We kept the classic Ro-tel tomatoes but bumped up their flavour even more with garlic and canned chipotle chili.
This dip tasted best when made with block cheese that we shredded ourselves; you can find block American cheese at the deli counter. Pre-shredded cheese will work, but the dip will be much thicker. If you prefer a mild chili con queso, omit the chipotle. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips
CHILI CON QUESO
Start to finish: 1 to 2 hours
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
4 ounces American cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
Microwave broth, cream cheese, cornstarch, chipotle, garlic, and pepper in large bowl, whisking occasionally, until smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in Monterey Jack and American cheeses until well combined.
_ For 1 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker Transfer mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 hours on low.
_ For 5 1/2- to 7-quart slow cooker Transfer mixture to 1 1/2-quart souffle dish. Set dish in slow cooker and pour water into slow cooker until it reaches about one-third up sides of dish (about 2 cups water). Cover and cook until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 hours on low. Remove dish from slow cooker, if desired.
Whisk dip until smooth, then stir in tomatoes. Serve. (Dip can be held on warm or low setting for up to 2 hours. Adjust consistency with hot water as needed, adding 2 tablespoons at a time.)
Nutrition information per serving: 223 calories; 161 calories from fat; 18 g fat (11 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 647 mg sodium; 5 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 11 g protein.